Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Review: Last One Home

About the Book:
Growing up, Cassie Carter and her sisters, Karen and Nichole, were incredibly close—until one fateful event drove them apart. After high school, Cassie ran away from home to marry the wrong man, throwing away a college scholarship and breaking her parents’ hearts. To make matters worse, Cassie had always been their father’s favorite—a sentiment that weighed heavily on her sisters and made Cassie’s actions even harder to bear.

Now thirty-one, Cassie is back in Washington, living in Seattle with her daughter and hoping to leave her past behind. After ending a difficult marriage, Cassie is back on her own two feet, the pieces of her life slowly but surely coming together. Despite the strides Cassie’s made, she hasn’t been able to make peace with her sisters. Karen, the oldest, is a busy wife and mother, balancing her career with raising her two children. And Nichole, the youngest, is a stay-at-home mom whose husband indulges her every whim. Then one day, Cassie receives a letter from Karen, offering what Cassie thinks may be a chance to reconcile. And as Cassie opens herself up to new possibilities—making amends with her sisters, finding love once more—she realizes the power of compassion, and the promise of a fresh start.

A wonderful novel of perseverance and trust, and an exciting journey through life’s challenges and joys, Last One Home is Debbie Macomber at the height of her talents.

My  Comments:
If you click this link you'll see my post on negative reviews, and what types of books are likely to garner negative reviews as opposed to being ignored if I do not like them.  In this case, I have read and positively reviewed many of Debbie Macomber's books.  I did not enjoy this one and frankly, I believe that if it was sent to a publisher or agent by an unknown author, it would have never made it past the reject bin.  The writing is not professional quality.  While the story concept was good, and the opening strong, the book never got out of the starting blocks and the characters, usually Debbie Macomber's strong point, never really came to life.  

Cassie was a battered wife and the story opens with her supporting another battered wife as the other woman testifies in court against the man who hurt her.  We learn that Cassie left her husband after being beaten many times, went to a battered women's shelter, and is now working as a hair stylist and living in a small dumpy apartment.  However, she has just been accepted as a Habitat for Humanity homeowner, and it is while putting in the necessary sweat equity that she meets her love interest in this book.  Of course they clash, and eventually, each decides the other isn't all bad.  

While the blurb above pitches this book as being about the relationship between sisters, Cassie's sisters remind me of teenagers, not grown women.  Of course their lives aren't as ideal as they appear on the surface, but we never really get into what makes them tick either. In the end, it is happily ever after with everyone's problems solved and a big group hug--but I still didn't think I knew the characters; rather I had just been told what happened over this time in their lives. At times the writing was repetitive, and the whole story just never grabbed me, despite the potential.  The book was a disappointment to me and I'm giving it a C because so many Amazon readers gave it five stars, putting it the category of a book that I didn't like, but which  you might.

Thanks to Edelweiss for providing a review copy.

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